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DEC Announces 2021-2022 Waterfowl Hunting Season Dates

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    DEC Announces 2021-2022 Waterfowl Hunting Season Dates

    DEC Announces 2021-2022 Waterfowl Hunting Season Dates

    Waterfowl News:
    • The Canada goose season length in the Northeast, West Central, East Central, Hudson Valley, and Lake Champlain zones remains 30 days, however, the bag limit has been reduced to one per day. Please see the Status and Management of Atlantic Population Canada Geese (PDF) brochure for more information.
    • In September 2020, DEC adopted new regulations that add two veteran and active military waterfowl hunting days in four of the five waterfowl zones. During the special season, military active duty and veterans can hunt migratory game birds. Daily bag limits are the same as the regular season (e.g., Canada goose bag limit in the west central is two per day). Military identification requirements can be found on the migratory game bird hunting regulations page.

    Other Changes From Last Year Include:
    • The licensed adult hunter serving as a mentor to a junior hunter participating in the special youth migratory game bird hunt days may not carry a firearm, longbow, or crossbow afield. The prohibition does not apply to other hunters in the party that are not mentoring the youth.
    • The special sea duck area boundary description for taking crippled waterfowl under power was simplified to include all tidal waters up to the first bridge.

    Youth and Military Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities

    Duck hunting seasons begin with designated youth and military waterfowl hunts across the state. The youth hunting days allow young hunters the opportunity to spend time afield with experienced adult hunters and gain necessary knowledge and skills to become safe and responsible members of the hunting community. Junior hunters (12 to 15 years of age) accompanied by a licensed adult hunter with up-to-date Harvest Information Program registration and a duck stamp may participate.

    During the youth hunt, the adult hunter may not possess a firearm or shoot any birds unless the respective regular season is open. Daily bag limits are the same as those allowed during the regular hunting season for all species (e.g. one per day in the West Central Canada goose zone and five per day in the South).

    Youth dates:
    • Western Zone - Oct. 2-3
    • Northeastern Zone - Sept. 18-19
    • Lake Champlain Zone - Sept. 25-26*
    • Southeastern Zone - Sept. 25-26
    • Long Island Zone - Nov. 6-7

    Military hunting days were added late last year and provide an additional two days for our service members (active duty and veterans) to pursue waterfowl with less competition than there would otherwise be during the regular hunting season. Daily bag limits are the same as those allowed during the regular hunting season for all species (e.g. one per day in the West Central Canada goose zone and five per day in the south).

    Military dates:
    • Western Zone – Nov. 11 (Veteran’s Day) and Nov. 13
    • Northeastern Zone - Sept. 18-19
    • Lake Champlain Zone – No dates selected*
    • Southeastern Zone – Oct 9-10
    • Long Island Zone - Nov. 13-14

    * As a shared zone, Lake Champlain dates in New York are chosen by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Management board. Vermont does not currently offer military hunting days, thus no dates were selected.
    2021-2022 Duck Season Dates

    Starting with the 2019-2020 duck season, DEC, with the assistance of Cornell University and the Waterfowl Hunter Task Forces, implemented a new process for selecting duck season dates in the four main zones of the state. The process incorporated input from a greater number of duck hunters through a structured survey and utilizes recent duck migration and abundance trends that were specific to each zone to maximize opportunity. With no changes anticipated in the federal frameworks (i.e., season length) for 2021-2022, the duck seasons dates in each zone will be:
    • Northeastern Zone: October 2nd - October 24th and October 30st - December 5th
    • Southeastern Zone: October 16th - November 28th and December 4th - December 19th
    • Western Zone: October 16th - November 7th and November 27th - January 2rd
    • Long Island Zone: November 2oth - November 28th and December 11th - January 30th

    For more information on how these dates were determined for each zone, visit DEC's website. DEC intends to reassess hunter values after the 2023-2024 hunting season. At that time, DEC will also update duck migration data to ensure there have been no significant changes to the timing of duck movements through each zone.
    Canada Goose Seasons

    Canada goose hunting regulations can often be confusing because of the number of zones, varied bag limits, and season lengths. Although some of the boundaries and bag limit differences appear to be random, they were designed using scientific data to maximize opportunity for resident Canada geese, but also to protect migratory populations that are much more sensitive to hunter harvest. Season lengths and bag limits are, again, developed in collaboration between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Atlantic Flyway Council. After the season frameworks are established (e.g., season length, bag limits, outside allowable dates), DEC gathers input from waterfowl hunters and the waterfowl hunter task forces to select dates that maximize opportunity for hunters in each zone.

    Bag Limits for All Other Species

    There are no changes to season dates or bag limits for any of the other webless migratory game birds (rails, gallinules, snipe, and American woodcock). For more information and season dates for these species, please visit DEC's website.


      Up to 3 in 1c.. cool.


      • Aquabach
        Aquabach commented
        Editing a comment
        Same as last year limits

        METALHEAD commented
        Editing a comment
        I thought the limit was 2 last year?


      Canadian Geese = North America's Flying Giraffes
      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King, Jr.